Sometimes, you can’t go back. John Bishop’s 38-year-old drama about a down-on-his-luck stock car racer receives a thoughtful but frustrating revival at the Whitefire Theatre. Ironically, the main impetus of the formulaic storyline cruises down memory lane as Bobby Horvath (Nick Stabile) returns to his hometown of Mansfield after a near fatal accident on the track and perpetual failure.
Playing on Broadway for two months in 1977, “The Trip Back Down” probably had more muscle in its own time than it does now. It’s stout and unwieldy plot would benefit from a major overhaul by restoring the predictable drama from its clunky 2.5 hours to a lean, mean 90 minute machine. As it stands, the play putters along aided by the efforts of a strong ensemble pushing it forward.